After winning gold for Team GB at London 2012 and round one at Wimbledon, Britons still see Andy Murray as more Scottish than British
New YouGov research reveals Murray is still Scottish rather than British in the eyes of 53% of the British public. The polling took place after Murray won his first round match at Wimbledon against Germany’s Benjamin Becker in straight sets.
While this 53% is lower than when YouGov first asked the question two and a half years ago, the polling appears to mostly contradict what many have claimed about British attitudes towards the tennis star – namely, that to non-Scottish Britons he is "Scottish when he loses and British when he wins".
YouGov has been tracking how people in Britain think of Andy Murray since his January 2011 loss to Novak Djokovic. At the time, nearly six in ten (59%) Britons – including 85% of Scots – said they thought of the tennis star, who was born in Glasgow and raised in Dunblane, as Scottish compared to only 29% who though thought of him as British.
Today, just over a third (35%) of people from across Great Britain (including Scotland) think of Murray as British.
Since 2011, Murray has racked up a number of major wins and losses, including a loss at the 2012 Wimbledon final against Roger Federer followed by two wins, one at the Summer Olympics and another at the US Open His ranking has steadily risen from #5 in the world in 2011 to #2 today. The only time the proportion of the nation who thought of Murray as Scottish dropped below 50% was immediately after his gold medal win at London 2012.
Interestingly, though more people from England and Wales think of Murray as British now than in 2011, the proportion of Scots who think of Murray as Scottish has declined from 85% in 2011 to just 70% today.
YouGov's Opigram system, which constantly records how those who like and dislike Andy Murray describe him, does find that one of the most popular words used by his fans to describe him is "Scottish". However, fans describe Murray even more often as "competitive", "talented" and "determined".
As a 17-year-old, Murray found himself in hot water with many English fans after joking that he would "support whoever England was playing against" at the 2006 World Cup.